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Mea Culpa: Pawlenty Admits Debate Mistake

Tom Williams/Roll Call/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Tim Pawlenty Thursday night admitted that he made a mistake Monday in pulling his "ObamneyCare" punch directed at rival Mitt Romney.

After coining the derisory term on FOX News Sunday, Pawlenty opted to pull back from it at Monday's debate, despite being pressed by CNN's John King, who even went so far as to question the former Minnesota governor's guts.

Mea culpa, Pawlenty admitted Thursday night.

"I should have been much more clear during the debate, Sean," Pawlenty told Sean Hannity on FOX. "I don’t think we can have a nominee that was involved in the development and construction of ObamaCare and then continues to defend it. And that was the question, I should’ve answered it directly; instead I stayed focused on Obama."

"But the question really related to the contrast with Governor Romney, and I should have been more clear, I should have made the point that he was involved in developing it, he really laid the groundwork for ObamaCare and continues to this day to defend it," he added.

It's the second time Thursday Pawlenty has acknowledged his mistake at the debate.

"On seizing debate opportunity re: healthcare: Me 0, Mitt 1. On doing healthcare reform the right way as governor: Me 1, Mitt 0," Pawlenty tweeted Thursday afternoon.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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